Gnarly Beans

Tis the season once again!   It’s the day before the stuffing of the big turkey and stuffing of self.  The preparations for Thanksgiving have been going on all week as the women in our family try to determine who is bringing what dish and which family member does or does not care for a certain vegetable, casserole, or dessert.  After all, this is a time when everyone must find total happiness and contentment in one exaggerated meal.  It is the duty of the cooks to verify which of the traditional or nontraditional foods will bring the most satisfaction to the stomachs of everyone feasting.

Case in point, my assignment this year is to cook a pot of fresh green beans while our daughter, Katherine will prepare the traditional green bean casserole.  We will serve two green bean dishes to promote thankfulness among the tribe as we all indulge ourselves with more food than any of us need.  I tried to wrap my mind around this phenomenon and find thankfulness in my own heart as I stood over the kitchen counter snapping the enormous pile of gnarly green beans. 

I began by pouring the pile of beans onto the counter top.  As I studied the task before me, I noticed a very eclectic pile of raw beans.  Knowing that these fresh beans are surely going to bring thankfulness to the heart of someone whom I love, I began to sort through and snap the large heap.  Each bean had to be handled individually.  I noticed that some beans were more maturely developed than others.  Some had scars that caused them to become deformed; some of the beans had withered on the vine or had holes where insects had eaten, while others appeared to be very close to perfect. 


Staring at this simple vegetable, I pondered the object lesson before me.  It did not take long to very clearly hear the message that the Holy Spirit was teaching me.  (Yes, the Lord does speak in mysterious ways!)  The lesson is this: we are all one big pile of gnarly, green beans!  There are no two beans that are alike.  Each one has its own unique set of issues and imperfections.  Just as I handled the green beans, He handles each of us, looking at our scars and deformities, snapping the ends that need to be snapped in order to produce in the end, a beautiful pile for His glory.


As we gather around the Thanksgiving table tomorrow, before I lift my fork, I am going to give thanks for all of the gnarly beans at the table, not only those on my plate but most certainly for the ones I love so dearly, those sitting in the chairs around me, whose lives are being snapped in order to bring God the most glory.  Thank you, Lord for the blessing of these gnarly beans.